View of Main Street in Sheridan, Wyoming, USA. Editorial credit: Ems Images /

6 Top-Ranked Towns in Wyoming for Retirees

Wyoming is renowned for its stunning natural beauty, diverse wildlife, and iconic landmarks such as Yellowstone and Old Faithful. As extraordinary as these attractions might be, the state is also gaining popularity as a retirement destination. Wyoming might be the place for seniors looking for small-town living with affordable housing, rich histories, and a wide range of activities. Wyoming is an excellent choice for retirees looking to save money, thanks to its lower sales tax rates and no taxes on food, medicines, and retirement benefits. In this article, we will look closer at the top six small towns in Wyoming that are ideal for retirees looking for a peaceful retreat in their golden years.


Street view of downtown Lander, WY.

Street view of downtown Lander, WY. By Charles Willgren, CC BY 2.0, Wikimedia Commons

Lander, with a population of around 7,500, is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Serving as a gateway to the Wind River Mountains, seniors can find plenty to keep themselves engaged, including hiking, fishing, and wildlife viewing. The Sinks Canyon State Park is only six miles away, featuring some of the best-unspoiled wilderness in the state. The Popo Agie Falls Trail is a pleasant 1.5-mile hike through the Shoshone National Forest to cascading waterfalls. 

The median price for a home is $355,000, and the community has an excellent percentage of retirees at 18.3%. One of the advantages of Lander is that it has a crime rate that is much lower than the national average. SageWest is the primary hospital in the town, which offers a variety of emergency and surgical services. In addition, St. John's Medical Clinic and other specialists can help provide adequate access to medical care. With strong community support, a very reasonable cost of living, and friendly neighborhoods, Lander has a lot to offer. 

The city has a rich cultural diversity with several festivals and events throughout the year. From dog sled races to Indian Pow Wows to an iconic 4th of July celebration with a 360-degree fireworks display, there is always something to celebrate. The downtown district has numerous turn-of-the-century buildings housing many small boutiques, galleries, and restaurants. History buffs will love the Museum of the American West and the Fremont County Pioneer Museum.

If you need a place to stay, the Mill House is a one-of-a-kind bed and breakfast in a restored 1888 building, formerly the town's flour mill. Try Gannett Grill, known for its burgers, sandwiches, and pizza for dining options. 


View from the top of Beartooth Pass in Wyoming, featuring Absaroka Mountain peaks, a valley, a distant river, and mostly cloudy skies.

View from the top of Beartooth Pass in Wyoming, featuring Absaroka Mountain peaks.

Powell sits in the broad valley between the Big Horn Mountains to the east and the Absaroka Mountains to the west. With crystal clear blue skies, clean mountain air, and many activities, this small town has a 4% sales tax, with groceries and prescriptions being exempt. The median price for a home is $517,000, and in the town, 19.6% of its residents are over 65 years of age. 

The community has a small-town ranching and farming vibe and celebrates that heritage with several festivals. The JWP Days (John Wesley Powell, for whom the town is named) is a day-long event where residents decorate bikes for a parade and enjoy an evening carnival. In September, the community enjoys Homesteader Days, honoring the agricultural and farming history with vintage trucks and tractors, music, crafts, and great barbecue.

Powell is home to Northwest College, a two-year college with a solid performing arts department offering stage shows, plays, and concerts. With 125 acres of parks scattered throughout the town, there is ample green space for seniors to stretch their legs and stay active. 

Powell Valley Hospital and Mountain View Medical Center provide access to care with a complete range of services. In addition, several community long-term/assisted living facilities can help and support retirees who need additional care. 

The east gate of Yellowstone is just over an hour away and is one of the best places to enter the park to experience the wilderness, apart from the crowds. The Lamplighter Inn offers excellent basic lodging but is primarily known for serving great steaks in their restaurant. 


Post office at 2145 Main Street, Torrington, Wyoming, viewed from the west.

Post office at 2145 Main Street, Torrington, Wyoming, viewed from the west.

Torrington sits in the state's southeastern corner with a population of approximately 6,600. With the median price of a home at $285,000, low food and fuel costs, and excellent soil for gardening, the community is quickly becoming a preferred destination for retirees. With 21.6% of the residents aged 65 years and older, there is strong community support for the older adult population. Community Hospital is a small 25-bed facility that serves much of the rural area of Southeast Wyoming and bordering Nebraska communities. As a level 3 trauma center, most emergency and critical care situations can be handled locally. 

Torrington is home to Eastern Wyoming College, which offers tuition-free classes for adults over 60 years (although you still have to pay for course books). If you visit, be sure to see the Homesteaders Museum, with its fascinating displays of pioneer days, as the town's history includes both the California and Oregon Trails. The town has a great county fair each summer. The Goshen County Fair is a weeklong event with amusement rides, livestock and agricultural events, and lots of great music and food. Yee Haw Daze is a fall festival attracting crafters and artisans from all over the Midwest. 

There are plenty of motel choices in town, including the Holiday Inn Express, and the best place for lunch is the Broncho Grill House. Table Mountain Vineyards is Wyoming's largest winemaker and is a delight to explore. Try the Open Barrel Brewing Company for a craft beer, with a Texas Hold'em Tournament every Friday night. 


Wyoming's legendary meeting place, the Mint Bar is Sheridan's oldest bar.
Wyoming's legendary meeting place, the Mint Bar, is Sheridan's oldest. Editorial credit: Sandra Foyt /

This quaint town is halfway between Yellowstone and Mt. Rushmore in northern Wyoming. What sets this town apart is its reputation as one of the safest communities in the state, with a meager crime rate of 0.8 per 1,000. Additionally, the cost of living in this town is 18% lower than the national average. Even though the median home price is steep at $569,000, more retirees find Sheridan's benefits yearly.

The town is also known for its significant population of senior citizens, which makes it an ideal place to enjoy retirement years. Sheridan Memorial provides the bulk of medical care, with nearly 100 beds and a VA Hospital. 

Sheridan is a former ranching town with a vibrant cowboy culture. The community hosts the Sheridan WYO rodeo, a world championship event attracting professional riders nationwide each year. King's Saddlery and Museum has excellent craftsmanship on everything from saddles to tack, with plenty of leather to help you get your cowboy on. When you stay, plan on bunking down at the historic Sheridan Inn, a hotel that opened in 1892. The best place to dine is the Cowboy Cafe, which serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Try the smoked Buffalo and elk for breakfast because it is fantastic.  


Wyoming Buffalo Company and Native Images shops on Sheridan Avenue in Cody, Wyoming.

Shops on Sheridan Avenue in Cody, Wyoming. Editorial credit: Steve Cukrov /

Cody is a town known for its rich Old West legacy. It is approximately an hour away as a gateway to Yellowstone's eastern gate. If you are in the area, visit the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, an extensive museum complex that houses numerous historic displays, firearms, and Western art. During the summer, Old Trail Town is a well-preserved ghost town where visitors can return in time. Cody also hosts a nightly summer rodeo, a family-friendly event that attracts countless fans.

The median price for a home in Cody is $639,000, but the town also has meager crime rates. Nearly one-fifth of the population is over 65. Cody Regional Health Center is the primary healthcare facility, offering most of Northwest Wyoming quality medical care. Bighorn Medical Center has a state-of-the-art orthopedic facility.

Exploring the downtown district is a great way to spend an afternoon looking for the best Old West souvenir. Don't forget to enjoy a meal at Buffalo Bill's Irma Hotel and Restaurant, which has been open since 1902. The museum in the lobby is a must-see, with fascinating exhibits on Buffalo Bill's life. The local WYO Theater hosts live music events almost every week, so there are plenty of opportunities to see quality national musicians, comedians, and entertainers. With the proximity to Yellowstone and the abundant number of trails for hiking or biking in the nearby Shoshone National Forest, there is a lot to love about this Wyoming community.


The Occidental Hotel Lodging and Dining in Buffalo, WY, USA.
The Occidental Hotel Lodging and Dining in Buffalo, WY, USA. Editorial credit: Cheri Alguire /

Living in Buffalo, Wyoming, can be an excellent option for retirees who prefer a calm, peaceful, small-town atmosphere. The town offers easy access to the Big Horn Mountains, which boasts some of the most breathtaking landscapes in the state. With over 1,200 miles of trails, seniors can explore numerous hiking and biking paths to stay active and healthy. Plenty of fishing spots also exist where one can fly fish, waiting for a trout to rise. 

The median price for a home in Buffalo is $480,000, which is noticeably lower than other popular areas in the state. Additionally, the town has a low cost of living and offers excellent access to medical care. Johnson County Healthcare Center is a small 25-bed hospital that can handle emergency and other issues. The crime rate in the town is average, similar to most small towns in America. Furthermore, around 30% of the population is aged over 65.

If you plan to visit Buffalo, stay at the "OX" (Occidental Hotel), built in the 1880s and still has bullet holes from when disputes were resolved through the draw of a six-shooter. For an unforgettable steak, try the Cattleguard Steakhouse. The community hosts several festivals yearly, including Longmire Days, based on the hit television show. The multi-day event features a parade, vendors, and some of the best food you'll find anywhere. 

Embrace Your Golden Years in Wyoming's Idyllic Towns

Retiring in a small town in Wyoming offers seniors a chance to embrace a tranquil lifestyle, enjoy a low cost of living, and engage in activities that keep them physically and socially active. Whether it's the natural beauty of Cody, the outdoor adventures in Lander, or the affordability of Torrington, these six small towns provide a welcoming environment for retirees looking to savor the best years of their lives.

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